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Six-Month Countdown for New Rush Hospital Building

Excitement is building for the January 2012 opening of the new Rush University Medical Center hospital, as construction progress on July 15 reached the “substantial completion” phase with just six months to go until patients move in.

The installation of more than 10,000 pieces of medical equipment is beginning throughout the building at Ashland Avenue and the Eisenhower Expressway, and every aspect of the new hospital will be inspected and tested, in addition to the final detail and finishing work that will be completed during the coming months.

The new hospital building is the cornerstone of our plans to reorient all of our facilities and care around the patient and their families in order to reduce costs and improve outcomes,” said Peter Butler, president and chief operating officer of Rush University Medical Center.

Dr. Larry J. Goodman, CEO, Rush University Medical Center, discussed the new hospital on WGN-AM’s Greg Jarrett Show this morning. More information on the new hospital can be found on a unique, interactive website introduced by Rush this month. It is devoted to information and tours about the new hospital.

The $654 million hospital building, also called “the Tower,” will have 304 individual adult and critical care beds in the top five floors. Three consecutive floors at the base of the building are devoted to the interventionalnew rush hospital platform, where diagnostic testing, treatment and recovery are a short distance of each other, resulting in enhanced collaboration between medical specialists while making services more convenient for patients and families. It includes 40 procedure rooms with enlarged operating rooms to accommodate new technology. Rush is one of a small number of leading medical centers in the country to incorporate the interventional platform.

The ground floor will house the McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response, designed to provide an unprecedented level of readiness for large scale health emergencies from a mass outbreak of an infectious disease, a bioterrorist attack, or an accident that spills hazardous materials. The Center houses an expanded emergency department with 56 treatment bays.

The unique shape of the new hospital is designed to improve patient outcomes. Long before ground was broken in September 2008, hundreds of Rush employees provided the design team with their insights on critical features necessary to create a facility that would ensure patient safety and comfort, improve quality and also provide efficient space for staff. Rush’s architects, Perkins+Will, developed the hospital’s innovative butterfly-like design to accommodate those priorities. The firm in July was ranked as the No. 1 design firm in the country by Architect magazine.

The Tower is the major component of Rush’s 10-year, $1 billion campus redevelopment project called the Rush Transformation, which blends new construction, renovations of select campus buildings and  investments in cutting-edge technology that includes a comprehensive electronic health information system. It is the largest capital project in Rush’s 174-year history in Chicago.

The new Tower will connect to Rush’s existing main hospital building, the Atrium, at 1650 W. Harrison St. The Atrium will be completely renovated following the opening of the new Tower. When the Transformation program is completed, Rush will have 732 beds in operation across the renovated existing and the new facilities.

Rush’s new Tower will be Chicago’s first full-service “green” hospital. It was designed to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and use sustainable building materials. Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for the Tower. LEED recognizes organizations that design and construct environmentally responsible and efficient buildings. Other new buildings at Rush, a new parking structure and Orthopedic Building completed in 2009, were built with a host of sustainable features.

“From the outset of our planning, we have worked to develop new models of care and to adapt to changes in the health care environment that will better enable Rush to address critical issues regarding access to care, containing and reducing costs, achieving better outcomes and ensuring that the patient is at the center of the health care continuum,” said Butler.

The Rush Transformation is being funded by operating revenue, debt financing, philanthropy and city, state and federal grants. The project, managed by Power/Jacobs Joint Venture, has remained on time and on budget, despite the challenging economic environment.

*original article here

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